The Impact of Sodium Contamination in Tin Sulfide Thin-Film Solar Cells

Matthew Young, Vera Steinmann, Riley Brandt, Rupak Chakraborty, R. Jaramillo, Benjamin Ofori-Okai, Chuanxi Yang, Alex Polizzotti, Keith Nelson, Roy Gordon, Tonio Buonassisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus Citations


Through empirical observations, sodium (Na) has been identified as a benign contaminant in some thin-film solar cells. Here, we intentionally contaminate thermally evaporated tin sulfide (SnS) thin-films with sodium and measure the SnS absorber properties and solar cell characteristics. The carrier concentration increases from 2 × 1016 cm-3 to 4.3 × 1017 cm-3 in Na-doped SnS thin-films, when using a 13 nm NaCl seed layer, which is detrimental for SnS photovoltaic applications but could make Na-doped SnS an attractive candidate in thermoelectrics. The observed trend in carrier concentration is in good agreement with density functional theory calculations, which predict an acceptor-type NaSn defect with low formation energy.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 026103
Number of pages7
JournalAPL Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-66084


  • carrier density
  • II-VI semiconductors
  • secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS)
  • sodium
  • solar cells


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